Costa Rican Ceviche
January 29, 2014
By Elizabeth Palmer Califano

Costa Rica’s abundance of fresh seafood lends itself perfectly to ceviche. Naturally high and protein and low in fat, ceviche’s raw preparation makes it a breeze to prepare and ideal for serving to a large group of people. Though technically raw, the fish in ceviche takes on a cooked texture due to the acid in the lime juice. It firms up in texture and becomes opaque, just as if you cooked it. The addition of ginger ale makes the ceviche classically Costa Rican, and gives the flavors a slightly sweet flair. Zingy, bright, and bursting with fresh flavors, this ceviche tastes so good you’ll forget how good it is for you. Serve some avocado alongside your ceviche for a boost of healthy fats, and you’ve got a delicious and balanced meal to serve and share.

Serves: 4 as a main course, or up to 8 as a starter.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: At least 1 hour and 15 minutes


  • 1 pound raw white sea bass, cod, tilapia, or other firm white fish, dice into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 8 raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons lime zest (about 4 limes)
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 12 medium limes)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 seedless cucumber, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 cup ginger ale (try to find a more natural variety made without high fructose corn syrup)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
  • Avocado and extra lime wedges to serve


  1. In a large glad bowl, combine all of the prepared ingredients and stir well to combine.  Make sure all the fish is covered with the marinade.
  2. Allow the fish to cook in the marinade in your fridge for at least an hour, and ideally six or eight hours. You can even let this sit overnight. Stir every hour or so to make sure everything cooks evenly.
  3. To serve, spoon the fish and shrimp into bowls, making sure there are a few tablespoons of the liquid in each bowl. Sprinkle with some chopped fresh cilantro, and serve with avocado and lime wedges.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Palmer Califano
Elizabeth is a graduate of Hamilton College and The French Culinary Institute, as well as an avid world traveler and dinner party hostess. For more information, visit her website: